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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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01:00:00

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 10, Newtown 4, Connecticut 4, Adam Lanza 3, Joey 3, Sandy 3, Washington 3, Nbc 2, Duracell 2, Pete Williams 2, Michael Dorn 2, Toure 2, Michelle Franzen 2, U.s. 2, United States 2, Pozner 2, Johns Hopkins University 1, Duralock 1, Jack Pinto 1, Dr. Robin Goodman 1,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    December 17, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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nbc's michelle franzen is outside noah's funeral not far from sandy hook elementary. michelle, what is the mood throughout? >> reporter: well, toure, just a short time ago within the last hour, the funeral services for noah pozner finished here after a very emotional sermon and services that we're told that occurred inside. family and friends and people who didn't even know little noah showing up here to show support for the family. a local rabbi who also attended the services spoke after those funeral services. he said and described noah as a pure and innocent child who brought joy to his family and to his community. and he also described how noah's mom found the strength to also speak inside those services today describing her son as her little man. of course, noah's 6 years old. as you mentioned, his classmate jack pinto, the service is getting under way. but noah pozner, his uncle
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described him in these past few days as smart as a whip but gentle boy with a rambunctious streak. he, of course, leaves behind his sister, a twin who was in a separate classroom on that day and made it out of there and an 8-year-old sister sophia. the family described all three as inseparable and these are the first of many funerals that we'll see throughout this week. those 20 students, those bright lights, the boys and the girls whose lives were taken years beyond what they should have been and now that they have returned with their family, their families as well as the communities are laying them to rest. toure. >> michelle franzen, thank you so much. details of exactly what happened have changed a lot since friday when we were last on the air here and now learning more about the horror and the heroism at the school. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams is following the investigation since the beginning. pete, when's the latest? >> reporter: well, the latest
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is, you know, a whole different array of lots of different things that law enforcement is doing but in terms of what you said, yes, i think we have a very clear or pretty clear idea of how things unfolded that on friday morning at sometime law enforcement doesn't know adam lanza shot and killed his mother, shot her several times as she was in bed. damaged the computer, several times. took the hard drive out and damaged that. there was hope that they could recover data from it but so far they haven't been able to. doesn't mean they won't but the discovery of this computer raised hopes of a fairly quick source of information about maybe his plans, what he had been saying, whether he was communicating with anyone. now if there's anything to be gained from that at all, it is going to take a longer time. then he drove to the school with three guns he his legally purchased in the past few years and what authorities say were hundreds of rounds of
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ammunition. and that he stopped the shooting in the school only when he saw and heard the police coming for him by shooting himself in the head with a handgun. so many rounds that he took in there that they say there's no way to know how long that the carnage would have continued. as for the -- as for adam lanza himself, we know that he struggled with a mild form of autism and another disorder that's unusual, whether it had any role in this, of course, there's no way to know but he had difficulty according to a former teacher and friends of his mother, difficulty feeling pain. either physical or emotional pain. they worried about him hurting himself and not being aware of it. there was never a sense that this would cause him to be a danger to others, only that they had to watch him more carefully because he might hurt himself but these are just little bits of insight as the days go on that we get in to this obviously
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complicated young man. >> all right. nbc's pete williams, thank you for that. president obama is leading not only connecticut but the nation in mourning. he spoke at the newtown vigil last night as both a president and a father. >> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. there's only one thing we can be sure of. that's the love that we have for our children, for our families, for each other. god has called them all home. for those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. >> we are joined by pastor rocky veech of connections church in newtown, connecticut, and pastor joey newton of the newtown bible
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church. pastor rocky, you were also a pastor in denver when columbine happened in 1999. what can you tell us about how a community starts to heal from something like this? >> i think it starts to heal right away with the funerals like here today. and community starts to come together. i noticed living in columbine, that was the beginning. those were the beginning signs of the healing that did take weeks after that. >> you know, this i guess is to both of you. we speend a lot of time in the media watching polls and talking about studies about religion and whether it's on the rise or the decline in this country and it all seems like sort of silly calculus after tragedies like this seeing that faith plays a huge role in our daily lives. what do you do as you try to ahempbt communities devastated by events like this through their faith and then also what do you do when people in those communities might be
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experiencing a crisis of faith because of this? >> well, obviously, i'm a pastor so we're looking at it like president obama said last night, from the unseen realm first. from the spirit realm first, really, so we're trying to help people just get in touch with god. and so we're doing a lot of praying with our group of people and just being available for people and trying to help them get in touch with him through prayer. >> and pastor joey, one of the things that i have been thinking about is, i don't know a person who hasn't been deeply emotionally impacted by this story, whether they had a direct connection to newtown and to this tragedy other than being fellow members of the human species. a eni feel like there's some guilt that comes along with feeling that deep sense of grief, admitting you're having a hard time dealing with it and then going home to a happy and healthy family.
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you know, how do you counsel people who are grieving even though they don't have a direct connection to the tragedy and make them feel like it's okay to feel that sense of grief and loss, as well? >> yeah, that's a good question. i mean, first of all, it's understanding who god is, that god gives life and he takes life away. we can't give all of the answers for why he takes one and why he leaves another. and those really aren't for us to answer but to look to the character of god, to trust him and be thankful if our children were spared in this moment and if somebody's children be taken, then we point them to a god that revealed the character in the death and resurrection of the jesus christ and point them there. >> pastor joey, what can the millions of americans who are thinking about newtown right now, what can they -- what can we do for the people in newtown right now? >> say that one more time.
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i didn't catch the question. >> what can the millions of people in america who are thinking about newtown and grieving along with them, what can we all do for the people of newtown right now? >> yeah, well, from what i understand there's an outpouring of love of people wanting to come alongside in any way they can. as a christian, there's like-minded churches coming alongside by praying and we know that god is sovereign and involved in every detail of the events and we take great encouragement of prayers of christians around the nation wanting to see this be used as it says in romans 8:28 for good for those who trust god and know him. so the good is that we can look past the death and i think so many people get stuck on the death which is tragic, which is terrible, which needs to be acknowledged and grieve and weep with those that weep as the bible tells us in romans chapter 12. we need to do that and not stay
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there. we need to look at something bigger going on and that is what god is revealing about himself in this and what he's revealing, one, is that there is the reality of sin, there is the reality of death that comes through that sin. not just dying in old age. but death through wicked hearts who do -- wicked people who do wicked things and what we have is an answer and a hope that's eternal and a hope that's real in what god did in the person of jesus christ by -- took the punishment for sin and defeated death by rising from the grave three days later and an eternal hope, a real hope and that is what we would rather be the greater picture here than just these children whose lives were tragically taken. >> well said. >> all right. pastor rocky and pastor joey, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. we'll be back with more of our coverage on this special edition right after this.
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they responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances.
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with courage and with love. giving their lives to protect the children in their care. >> out of unspeakable horror stories of bravery, love and courage in a word heroism. over the weekend, we have begun to learn more about the the tea to the first responders. >> she was found protecting her kids doing instinctively what she knew to do. protecting her children. huddling them in the closet and trying to shield them from the spray of the bullets. >> the first responders that got to that scene with the active shooter team entered that school and saved many human lives. i can tell you it broke our hearts when we couldn't save them all. >> if they started to cry, i would take their face and say it will be okay. show me smile. and one of my students was, you know, would say things like i know cakarate.
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i'll lead the way out. so obviously, i said, well, okay, we need to just stay here right now. we need to be calm and still and quiet. just wanted my kids and me to live. that's all. i'm not a hero. >> so what makes a person step up in the face of danger? joining us now is clinical psychologist robin goodman. dr. goodman, we are constantly reminded in these horrific tragedies that as evil and awful and unimaginable as humanity is capable of being, there are far more heroes among us than we even know at any given time. what makes a person a hero? >> i know it's amazing that we can be a force for good in spite of the forces sometimes that seem to evil. one thing is, people -- it's not about risk taking in that way. we think people are reckless. it's risk taking in terms of i risk something for the greater good and they don't see it as heroic but taking responsibility for being able to make a
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difference, for doing something positive. and especially that they have an ability to make that change and affect -- have a different kind of an outcome. >> i kind of believe that everybody would be a hero given the right circumstances. so let's talk about what makes somebody step up and become a hero. is it a certain person who they love and care about enough is in danger or sense of justice challenged so they have to set things sflagt is it situational or just who you are? >> it can be a variety of things. there's something in you that also responds to a need and that may be a need in a group, it may be the need of an individual on the street or the classroom or a moral need or an injustice somewhere but somewhere you see that you have the ability to step up and take a stand and not be afraid of the negative consequences. i think what we have at times is those bystanders that hold back afraid of what will happen.
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here we have people aissaying i need to do something because i'm not concerned about the negative consequence. i am so concerned about the positive consequence. that makes people feel good and do it more. >> to that point, does being a good and moral and thoughtful person in normal life core late with something a hero or two different things to be a thoughtful person versus the pressure is on and an instant to react, stepping up to the plate? >> i think there's altruism, compassion and those things can happen to foster that. but there's some kind of research out there lately that's starting to think that you can actually teach and help people develop this. by volunteering, by understanding the affect that they could have in the greater good and the every day heroic kind of things not to be minimized because they can set the stage for being the type of person that understands the power that you have to do it in
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those much more difficult situations because, in fact, you may see them as the same thing. that you are able to do something positive in a negative circumstance. >> you know, i mean, a lot of these stories coming out of connecticut are genuinely moving accounts of heroism and we have seen the same thing in other tragedies before. we have seen the same thing in sort of less dramatic circumstances and seems there's occasions when somebody who's instinct is to be the hero, that could complicate a situation like this. that could actually maybe backfire in a way and where somebody whose instinct to sit back and not be the hero and more passive, maybe circumstances where that's helpful. >> you know, heroism is not necessarily tied to wanting the recognition. in fact, it's sometimes the opposite. you can hear from these people in newtown and anywhere else that we have talked about these heroic kind of quote/unquote
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heroes. i didn't think of being a hero. in fact, those are the people who are doing it just because it's the right thing. >> but isn't there a situation maybe -- i'm not talking about this in particular. we don't know all the details of this but in general there are situations where standing back is the smarter thing. >> right. that's another thing that they sometimes have equated with this is the people that are able to assess situations, that have a sensitivity for a group rather than stereotyping or rather than picking up on just one particular cue, you find that they're looking at the 0 tallty of something and they have an understanding of what could happen. and then they can do something that can make it kind of a result in a positive instead of a negative way. >> okay. dr. robin goodman, thank you so much. >> sure, my pleasure. >> a special edition of "the cyc cycle" continues straight ahead. stamps.com is the best.
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weiner. how are you, doctor? >> fine, thanks. >> so we are talking about warning signs here. what are the commonalities that you notice in people who have done these sort of things to start to build a thought process around what are these warning signs? >> well, you know, i think the one thing that people need to be aware of is actually as a psychiatrisig psychiatri psychiatrist, it is so hard to predict when somebody will be violent, suicide or to somebody else. i think it's almost unreasonable to try to pigeonhole the specific type of person to commit these things. with that said, however, we need to look out for people with a track record of violence, people who are doing things like talking to others about the fact that they're fan that sizing of hurting people, stockpiling weapons, posting things on the facebook. these are obvious things but it's really hard to identify who's going to be just that
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weird person who's not really a danger, they might not be functioning well in society but they're not going to go out and hurt themselves or others versus the person who's going to do such a horrific act. >> but it seems that many people mentioned this and an over preponderance of the loner, the anti-social person and separating themselves from society, often early 20s, often white, often male. >> right. >> and it's hard to say let's take these warning signs and do something about it because a lot of times they never let anybody get close enough to know there's something wrong going on. >> i know. and you know, you do -- you do see those trends so as you mentioned there are some specific characteristics that are common with a lot of people. but the thing is, we're talking about millions of kids out there who are like this. so, how do you find that needle in the haystack? how do you know which one of the kids who shares the traits is the one to go on to do these things? that's why to me what i think is really important to focus on
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right now as a country is preventive measures. what can we do? and for me, i think the issue really starts with destigmatizing mental illness and the best place to start is in the school system and from a very early age schools should be teaching kids about social and emotional development. they need to be teaching kids about how to interact with people that are different, how to be accepting, how to deal with conflict. basically, how to get along in the world because we know that these are skills that actually can be taught and these are skills that actually end up corelating with success in life than the iq. if you have a good what we call emotion al quotient you're more likely to have a happy marriage and overall find yourself sat fied in life and things to be an uni think taught in the school. i think it's important sh obviously, for the kids to learn arithmetic and english but as a
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parent, i care most about my child being happy and well adjusted, getting along with other kids and prepared to be a productive, successful person in society. >> doctor, i want to play some sound from president obama yesterday and get your reaction. >> we'll be told that the causes of such violence are complexed and that is true. no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. but that can't be an execution for inaction. surely we can do better than this. >> doctor, you mentioned some things that we could be doing in the schools but clearly our mental health system is failing our children in many ways. what other conversation should we be having about mental health right now? >> i think we need to look at more funding for mental health
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treatment and vabltd and access to treatment. right now, i'm actually dealing in a practice with a kid who could be an adam lanza and it is difficult to deal with the issues and the mom calls me crying, saying what can we do for my son? this is a boy who just a couple of weeks ago held his mom at knife point and then made a suicide attempt. landed himself in the hospital. he was at a great hospital. johns hopkins university and there for just two weeks and then once he no longer seemed to be imminent danger, which is what the criteria is, you need to be an imminent risk of killing yourself or somebody else, he was discharged and sent back to my care. the problem is, he refuses to come and see me and giving the parents a real fuss with taking the medication so what do we do with the kids? what i think we need is more services available for the families, we need to have programs and institutions where kids can go for long-term treatment. the problems do not start overnight and they're not going
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to be cured overnight so there needs to be a place where kids go and go for a sustained period of time. months, we are not talking about days. and that's the amount of time that it really takes to help people get better. >> well, doctor, i mean, you mentioned talking to a mother who's worked up and concerned about her son. what is the practical advice for a parent who feels that way about their kid and what are the steps? >> this is so hard. it is so difficult. what i tell her to make sure she eve gotten rid of medications, all knives, obviously making sure that there are no guns in the house. nothing that can be used as a weapon against -- that he can use against himself or anyone else in the family. but then i say, you know, sometimes if things get out of control, you need to call the police. but that's a horrible situation for a parent to be in. do you want to call the police on your 14-year-old child? or 17-year-old kid? it can become a big mess after that. so the problem is, really, there is no place right now for us to
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turn to. and so, that's what needs to happen. needs to be a place. there are some places but the places are extremely difficult for people to get their kids in to and they cost an absolute fortune. you are looking at maybe over $100,000 a year for a kid to go to a program. and so who has that kind of money? >> wow. destigmatizing mental illness is important but hard. thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. >> we'll be back with more. we've all had those moments.
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we do our pledge of allegiance at 9:10 and then five
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minutes later the doors are locked. all the doors in -- going around the whole building. and then when people come, they have to buzz -- there's a camera. they push a button. buzzes in the office and we buzz them in. we have different kinds of drills. you know? i mean, not in addition to fire drills and high wind drills and lockdown drills and evacuation drills. so we have -- we have done it. we have been doing it. >> that was sandy hook elementary nurse sarah cox on "60 minutes" last night talking about the security measures at the school. by accounts like hers, it's a school that seemingly did a lot of things right from locked doors to emergency drills and heroes, teachers, principal, students and yet today we begin burying the first of 26 victims so as kids head back to school, what can kids and parents do to
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keep their children safe? to help us answer that, we bring in an expert, michael dorn, the executive director of safe havens international, one of the world's leading campus safety centers. michael, i guess i want to pick up on that point. everything we have read about the security measures that were in place at this school, this should have been by the book a safe school. is one of the takeaways here that at a certain level there's only so much you can do and if somebody has the means for this and the intent to pull off something like this, there's only so much a school can do to protect itself? >> clearly the school did many things correctly. obviously cared about safety of kids as you can see by the actions of the staff. you know, but it's too early to tell, you know, it really takes a thorough analysis to tell whether we think something went well or not. you have to have the facts and
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too early to make those types of assessments but clearly they did a lot of things right and worked hard at it. we can reduce the odds of death and serious injury in schools and our schools are i think doing a very good job of that overall in spite of tragedies like this. >> you work with schools and campuses in general and to broaden it out for a second, one thing is if we're talking about an elementary school or a college or a high school or even just any other sort of setting, a movie theater, a shopping mall, what is it for individuals out there, if they were to find themselves in a situation like this, where they realize they near a building where a gunman is on the loose, what is the best thing an individual can do in a situation like that? >> it's what they do before the event to determine the likelihood of survivability. the daily habit of paying attention to fire exits, paying attention to areas to secure yourself and not just gunmen. that's a least likely cause of death in a school in this
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country. it's thinking broader and fire, tornado. other types of emergencies, as well. you develop a sense of aware thans the research says that no matter what crisis you face, you'll probably make better reactions if you prepare yourself in that manner. >> there's a piece today, schools are much, much safer than they were, say, in the 1990s thanks in large part to metal detectors and controls access. but also, because schools like columbine were encouraged afterwards to focus on something called psychological security which sort of fosters more communication between students and staff and parents. can you unpack that a little bit? what does that mean? >> well, looking at security and safety beyond just -- and things like metal detectors and cameras can be very important, obviously, but its the people piece, too. from the u.s. department of education i think now retired
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said we need people detectors, too. and that's true. i think schools and people are becoming more aware. that's why the homicide rate is dropping dramatically in the schools over 30 years. this terrible event, it will probably double the rate for this year would be my guess but school is still a very safe place overall. our -- we have made tremendous progress in reducing the threats of the school and we work in vietnam and bolivia and israel and other places and we're deeply impressed with what we see in many of our schools. a lot of people here don't realize how far our schools are ahead of schools in many parts of the world. we lost 14,000 children killed in one day in an earthquake in china. 7,500 in one day in pack san in a school in an earthquake. the terrible situations do cause us to refocus and try to come up with improvements. and our children are getting safer at school day by day. i put a 4-year-old on a school
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bus this morning. but i feel fairly confident, not that, again, no place is perfectly safe, but i trust his teacher, principal, school system and local public safety officials to do a good job of trying to make him safe. >> i second what you said there. i trust that people in my children's school to keep them safe but what are you comfortable with parents like us telling kids about what to do in a given emergency, keeping in mind that as parents we do want to keep that sense of innocence that our 4 and 5-year-olds have about the world? what information are we giving them? >> we have to be very careful. my wife and my 4-year-old, we have not let him watch the media coverage but he was hiding in our closet yesterday. and she was ironing clothes and said, hunter, what are you doing there? he said, i'm hiding from a gunman. i don't want people like this to strip my child of the place school can and should be for
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him. we talk in an age appropriate manner very carefully and teaching my boy at the age of 2 in very basic terms, thinking about the age, about things like, you know, where to go for safety and things like that and getting older we'll have a more detailed discussion but teaching your child to look for fire exits and don't overwhelm them and talk about it too often but at the mall, when you're at a restaurant, talk about being able to get to a safe place, what you are doing is teaching your child very valuable survival skills and the research says if you do those types of things your child is more likely to survive an apartment fire, a plane crash or a shooting at the mall and those are simple things to do and don't frighten children and don't let ourselves -- it's hard with horrible situations like this to keep proper context but lightning strikes kill more children and adults at athletic
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events at school each year than gun violence in the schools. the death rate is dropping so we want people to keep context, terrible things unfortunately do sometimes happen anywhere in the world you go. and we can and should continue to work to make school safer and i think schools will be safer over the course of two years because parents resisting school officials last week about locking doors, because i have clients fighting that battle, the parents understand now why they want to lock the door and good access control and do the things they need to do. >> michael, i also have a 4-year-old and my instinct was your instinct and toure's to flot tell her anything about what happened to try to keep her in the sort of happy, safe bubble that i have created for her. but i am finding myself questioning if that is really the right approach. if we're doing her favors by, you know, trying to convince them that everything's safe, everything's secure, nothing bad can happen to me or to you or at
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any time. you don't need to worry about it. >> well, again, i want that balance. i was raped as a small child, i was attack eed with a gun. i won't let other people take the wonderful life that i have away from me. and so i would again i would say there has to be balance here and look at -- it's very different with a 15-year-old than my 4-year-old. i will talk to him differently when he's 6 than i do today. and so, again, start with thing that is are age appropriate. teaching them to move to safety, one of the most important things at the early ages to teach them to do what their teachers tell them to do, to pay attention with the drills that the schools are so good at doing now and follow directions of our teachers and our school administrators because i'll tell you, having worked in south africa and many other places, you might be shocked if you saw the difference of safety and emergency preparedness. >> all right, michael dorn,
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thank you for joining us. we are lack with more of the special coverage after this. oh, let me guess --ou see this? more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late.
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connecticut governor dan malloy has an update on the investigation. let's listen in. >> are aware of these particularly heinous circumstances. as i said in my televised remarks on saturday night, you see these tragedies play out in other places and you hope and you expect that it will never happen in your home. but clearly, it did in connecticut. i will repeat something i said on friday and saturday. the families of those victims, their families, their relatives, the brave teachers and administrators at the school who survived and the children who survived, to all of them, let me say on behalf of the state of connecticut we stand ready to assist you in any way possible, in any way needed to help you heal. so many resources already being -- so many resources are already being brought to bear and we'll bring more, whatever
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is necessary and do whatever has to be done to help our state, and the community of newtown and specific neighborhood of sandy hook heal. to that end, and this is for all of our citizens, not just on a geographic basis, anyone who's hurting in the state of connecticut, call 211. the crisis line. it's available on a statewide basis. it's available 24 hours a day to connect connect families with resources that they need to get through these circumstances, and it is staffed by people who are trained, trained specialists in handles these kinds of situations. we have used united way and 211 to help coordinate the many offers of services that are pouring into our state, and we will use many of those resources, i'm sure. i want to again thank the president for having come to the state and having pledged to
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provide on behalf of the federal government the presence that we needed in newtown and any additional services that we might need. i also want to comment that he was eloquent, he was moving, he was healing, and he was powerful. i think i can speak on behalf of everyone when i say we're grateful for his leadership, and it is obvious that he is concerned about our state and our people and i'm most appreciative of that. i want to thank the first responders. it's pretty clear now that their very quick response saved lives. we are grateful to them. they put their lives on the line every single day, and then there are days like friday when they put their lives on the line and they actually save lives as they clearly did on friday. as a result, children went home and continued their preparations to celebrate christmas or will
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celebrate hanukkah in the future. and i would like to thank the adults in the school, the teachers, the administrators, all of the adults, those who died trying to save their students are heroes. they gave their lives so others could live, and there are those teachers who in a calm, quick-thinking action saved many lives. they are heroes also. there are a lot of heroes in connecticut today, and i'm grateful to all of them. i said in my remarks saturday night that i thought there would be a time for public discussion, and that discussion would inevitably occur as it does every time when a tragedy like this takes place. and i think some people interpreted that to mean that i for those discussions to take place. i do not think it is inprot for them to take place p in fact, it's quite appropriate. the point i was making was that no more than 36 hours after the event, my job, my personal job
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as governor at that moment h was to spe to speak to the people of connecticut about the fears they're feeling, the damage that's been done, and my job was to help and continue to help newtown and the entire state to recover. but we know in our state that we have some of the toughest gun laws of any state in the nation, but when the investigation is over and all of the information is in, i'm going to ask a few questions. is there a law, a policy, or a procedure we could have had on the books that might have prevented this tragedy. it turns out quite clearly that the answer is yes, and i believe it is yes, and we should pursue that strategy. are we doing enough from a mental health perspective to reach out to kids and families who are obviously in trouble? my sense is we are not, and we need to look at that within our oun state and within our own nation.
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finally, do i think washington, d.c., needs to get its act together and enact stricter gun control laws at the federal level? you bet i do. i'm confident, especially after hearing the president, his address today, that perhaps -- and by the way the comments of our own connecticut delegation, that perhaps this debate will be renewed in washington and lead to a different result, one other than the result that allowed the weapons -- assault weapons ban to have expired. the public policy debate is already playing out at the national level, and if connecticut or i can be a voice of assistance in that matter, we are as connecticut citizens, i as the governor, prepared to enter that debate as well. but my focus right now is on helping our community and our state get through this very terrible and difficult time. i said there were some announcements so i will make those now.
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first, offers of financial assistance, generous offers, are literally pouring into connecticut. i have asked my staff to put together a process to handle all of this in an organized fashion, and i expect to have something further to announce about this in the next day or two. i know that the community of newtown is working with united way on this very subject as well and has set up a fund there. second, i want to inform you i have signed an executive order that will permit monroe and newtown to enter into an agreement concerning the use of a monroe extra school that they have, surplus school. that will allow that school to be used immediately and suspends some of the public notice aspects of entering into that agreement. obviously, this is an emergency. i'm doing that under -- i was prepared to declare a separate emergency, but the reality is we're still under hurricane sandy emergency, so i used that
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as the basis to execute that executive order. and, third, i'm asking that friday, december 21st, at 9:30 a.m. exactly, one week after the horror began to unfold in newtown, that the entire state observe is moment of silence and i'd like to ask those houses of worship or other buildings that have the ability to play bells to do so as well. 26 bells for the beautiful children and 6 wonderful adults who were killed at the school on that day. i'll be sending a letter of notification to all of the other governors through the nga asking them to ask their citizens to observe that occasion as well. and now i'm happy to take your questions. >> governor, the federal assault ban -- [ inaudible ]. has been since 1993.
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it seems unclear whether or not this weapon was covered by it. we also have a unique law on the books enacted a couple years after [ inaudible ] that allows you to report someone who you think is dangerous and has weapons in the house. it's called the weapons seizure law. some call it the report your neighbor law. those are two of the toughest laws on the books in the country, yet neither of them [ inaudible ]. is there really anything that can be done? >> sure. of course there is. number one, we do use the latter of the two statutes that you have referred to. i think we have removed thousands of guns using that statute. secondly, with respect to the expiring -- what was otherwise the brady bill or the assault weapons ban, under that legislation, clips were limited to ten. we know that in this case clips
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were used with 30 cartridges and multiples were used. that one difference could very well have been significant, and i suspect it would have been. you know, these guns aren't used to hunt deer, and, you know, i'm a big believer in hunting rights, big believer in supporting the second amendment, but there is a reality that this stuff has gone too far and is too easy to own, and then the whole point of your question is that connecticut has these laws. in the be a sense of a federal framework in which we limit the explosive nature of the weapons and ammunition that's used, no
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state would ever be safe based on simply its own laws. that's why the brady bill, that's why the assault weapons ban was so very important. politics played a role in allowing that to expire. politics should play a role in having it be reinstituted. >> with regard to the town government -- [ inaudible ]. >> yes. >> that's only a temporary solution. should they decide they can't go back into the sandy hook school [ inaudible ], what resources can they offer to the town? [ inaudible ]. >> we can't build a building any faster than they can build a building and, you know, that's a local issue to be discussed, and we'll certainly sit in consultation on that matter with them.
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[ inaudible question ] >> you know, if i had been asked, i would have supported it. i support the brady ban. i was quite active with mayors on the gun issue at the time that the assault weapons ban was expiring, and i was quite active with mayor bloomberg on other issues around guns. i have been told that someone submitted that. i'm not sure that that was an actively-discussed item last year. i don't have a memory of it. >> did anybody contact you from either the pro gun lobby or -- [ inaudible ].
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>> i don't believe so. we get a lot of letters in the office, most of them never get to me, quite frankly, so i can't tell you that that didn't happen. i can only tell you that i support a person's opportunity to hunt and to meet the strictest definition of the second amendment, but beyond that i think this thing has gotten way out of control, and the idea that assault weapons are as plentiful in the united states with a capacity as large as they're available in the united states, including in connecticut, is not something that i support. [ inaudible question ] >> i think the whole issue of assault weapons and weapons that can easily be converted to assault weapons